Weather Station Hardware > Ambient Weather and Ecowitt and other Fine Offset clones

Ambient WS-2000 vs. Ecowitt HP2551 - plus GW1000

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galfert:
Ambient WS-2000 vs. Ecowitt HP2551 - plus GW1000

Purpose: This thread is to discuss the differences between the Ambient WS-2000 and the Ecowitt HP2551 and any other similar Fine Offset clones. It also highlights the compatibility of the GW1000 with either branded station sensors.

UPDATE: Both of these stations have now been updated to support even more sensors.

Key Points:

* The Ecowitt HP2551 is not better than the Ambient WS-2000. They are equal and a bit different in software which changes some things and hardware compatibility. Some things may be better in one versus the other.
* For some people the Ambient brand is not available as it is only sold in the USA.
* Typically the only way to upload to Ambientweather.net is to use an Ambient console. But there is an exception which is a Meteobridge with added Ambientweather.net license. An Ecowitt (or other Fine Offset clone) user could then add Ambientweather.net with a Meteobridge and no true Ambient console. A WeatherBridge is a Meteobridge sold by Ambient that already had this license. But you can roll your own Meteobridge and add that license if desired.
* A user with only an Ecowitt console may wonder why they even need Ambientweather.net since they have Ecowitt.net. Although Ecowitt.net looks nicer there are some key features that are only available via Ambientweather.net; for eample the Internet API is available for many 3rd party weather software and web templates. Also using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant is only possible for now with Ambientweather.net as supported skills. Ambientweather.net also allows to download data.
* The only way to upload to Ecowitt.net is with an Ecowitt console (or with other Fine Offset console, but not Ambient). Good news is that anyone with an Ambient station can add an Ecowitt GW1000 and it will pick up all your Ambient sensors, then you can gain Ecowitt.net capability.
* If you have both an Ambient console and an Ecowitt GW1000 then you can take advantage of both services (Ambientweather.net & Ecowitt.net). Neither company's cloud service is better. They each have features that the other doesn't.
* The sensors look similar but Ecowitt sensors are not picked up by Ambient consoles...(save for some exceptions like the separate rain gauge, which could disappear with a future firmware update.)
* In order to combine and use more than one console, the sensors also all need to be on the same frequency. Ambient branded sensors and consoles only use 915 MHz.
* The Ecowitt GW1000 is a very powerful option to ether Ambient or Ecowitt station (or other Fine Offset). This is primarily because it is the only console to support a local network API. This local network API allows you to expand the capabilities of your station to easily support all sensors with no technical know-how, because you don't need to know how to use API's. All you need to do is install the compatible 3rd party software and point it to the GW1000's IP address and you are done. For now the compatible 3rd party software to take advantage of this API is Cumulus MX, Meteobridge and Weather-Display. The Meteobridge is software you run on a TP-Link travel router and Weather-Display is software that you can run on a computer with various operating system (PC, Mac, or Linux like a Raspberry Pi). There are other ways to get your data to yet other software even without the GW1000 but that requires a bit more technical know how (like WeeWx, but WeeWx will soon support the local API). It is especially challenging using Ambient to get redirected data because there is no "Customized Server" settings in their consoles, which is why having the GW1000 is such a nice enhancement.

* The appeal to use 3rd party weather software like Cumulus MX, Meteobridge, Weather-Display or other is to enable the capabilities to upload your data to many many more places; CWOP, AWEAKS, PWSweather, Windy, WindGuru, OpenWeatherMap, and others. Plus you can upload to your own website. Plus you can upload to your own SQL database server. Not to mention you have your data locally to analyse with other software or transfer to other future software or services.
* The GW1000 API also lets you configure multiple 3rd party software simultaneously. For example Cumulus MX, Weather-Display and Meteobridge can be supported at the same time with just one GW1000.
* Ecowitt consoles have a configuration for "Customized server" which can push either WU format or Ecowitt format data to a server of your choice. This is not the same thing as the GW1000 API. The "Customized server" option is Push technology to just one server, whereas the GW1000 API is Pull technology for as many devices/software that ask for the data.
* The ObserverIP device (or others like it - Aercus Weather Logger) have been surpassed by the capabilities of the GW1000. It is no longer necessary to do screen scrapes or network redirections which were the only options available to the ObserverIP. Some non-Ambient firmware of the ObserverIP (like Aercus) do have the capability to send data to customized server, but that is just WU formated data and does not have all the sensors.
* Ther are other station options from both Ambient and Ecowitt. Some of these options are less capable like the WS-2902A and the WH2910C. These do not have the capability to add sensors. But you can add a GW1000 and with it gain the extra sensors and the API software capabilities.
* There are yet more Ecowitt station options with separate outdoor sensors instead of using all-in-one sensor array. Those options are available to Ecowitt console users. But they are not compatible with Ambient consoles with the exception of the experimental beta WS-5000 which I don't think I'll ever recommend because of the ultrasonic anemometer.
* The GW1000 supports up to 4 PM2.5 sensors, 8 temp/hum sensors, 8 soil moisture sensors.
* The GW1000 is a full console without a display. You can run a full weather station with just a GW1000 and no display. Which is essentially what a GW1001 is. But you can also get an Ambient WS-1900 and add a GW1000 and you pretty much have the same thing plus a display for a bit lower cost (if you are in the US).
* Some other key points in the attached graphic below:
 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
*click to enlarge

Soil sensor from Ambient coming soon estimated Q1 2020. Newest WS-2000 firmware now supports soil sensors but they have to be Ambient branded.

galfert:
My graphic above is already outdated... #-o

The GW1000 now supports:

* Water leak detector
* Lighting detector
UPDATE: Graphic above now updated
January 7, 2020

kd7eir:
This is incredible news. Thank you!

galfert:
Newest firmware from Ambient for the WS-2000 now supports the soil sensor. Ambient expects the soil sensor to be available for purchase Q1 2020 and that is just an estimate time frame.

galfert:
Graphic in OP updated.

Added:

- Lightning sensor to Ecowitt
- Water Leak sensor to Ecowitt
- AWEKAS to Ecowitt

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